Caddyshack is a 1980 American sports comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, written by Brian Doyle-Murray, Ramis, and Douglas Kenney, and starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Michael O'Keefe, and Bill Murray. Doyle-Murray also has a supporting role.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Harold Ramis|
|Produced by||Douglas Kenney|
|Music by||Johnny Mandel|
|Edited by||William C. Carruth|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$39.8 million|
Caddyshack was Ramis's directorial debut and boosted the career of Dangerfield, who was previously known mostly for his stand-up comedy. Grossing nearly $40 million at the domestic box office (the 17th-highest of the year), it was the first of a series of similar comedies. A sequel, Caddyshack II (1988), followed, although only Chase reprised his role and the film was poorly received.
The film has a cult following and was named by ESPN as "the funniest sports movie ever made."
Danny Noonan works as a caddie at the upscale Bushwood Country Club to earn enough money to go to college. Danny caddies for Ty Webb, a suave and talented golfer and the son of one of Bushwood's co-founders. Danny tries to gain favor with Judge Elihu Smails, the country club's stodgy co-founder and director of the caddie scholarship program, by caddying for him. Meanwhile, Carl Spackler, a somewhat-unhinged groundskeeper-who lives in the maintenance building, hunts a gopher that is damaging the course. He tries to kill it with a rifle and high-pressure hose, without success.
Al Czervik, a brash and obnoxious nouveau riche golfer, begins appearing at the club. Czervik heckles Smails as he tees off, causing his shot to go badly. Later, frustrated by slow play, Al wagers with Smails. Smails is infuriated for losing the bet and throws his putter injuring an elderly woman. Danny takes responsibility for the incident, to gain Smails' favor. Smails encourages him to apply for the caddie scholarship.
At Bushwood's annual Fourth of July banquet, Danny and his girlfriend Maggie work as servers. Czervik continues to irritate Smails and the club members, while Danny becomes attracted to Lacey Underall, Smails' promiscuous niece.
Later, Danny wins the Caddy Day golf tournament and the scholarship, earning him an invitation from Smails to attend the christening ceremony for his boat. The boat is sunk at the event after an accident involving Czervik's larger boat. Returning home, Smails discovers Lacey and Danny in bed at his house. Expecting to be fired or to have the scholarship revoked, Danny is surprised when Smails only demands that he keeps the incident secret.
Unable to bear the continued presence of the ill-mannered Czervik, Smails confronts him and announces that he will never be granted membership. Czervik counters by announcing that he would never consider being a member: he insults the country club and claims to be there merely to evaluate buying it and developing the land into condominiums. After a brief scuffle and exchange of insults, Ty Webb suggests they discuss a resolution over drinks. After Smails demands satisfaction, Czervik proposes a team golf match with Smails and his regular golfing partner Dr. Beeper against Czervik and Webb. Against club rules, they also agree to a $20,000 wager on the match, which quickly doubles to $40,000. That evening, Webb practices for the game against Smails and his errant shot brings him to meet Carl; the two share a bottle of wine and a joint.
The match is held the next day. Word spreads of the stakes involved, and a crowd gathers. During the game, Smails and Beeper take the lead, while Czervik, to his dismay, is "playing the worst game of his life." He reacts to Smails' taunts by impulsively doubling the wager to $80,000 per team. When his own ricocheting ball strikes his arm, Czervik uses his fake injury in hopes of having the contest declared a draw. Lou, the course official who is acting as an umpire, tells Czervik his team will forfeit unless they find a substitute. When Webb chooses Danny, Smails threatens to revoke his scholarship, but Czervik promises Danny that he will make it "worth his while" if he wins. Danny chooses to play.
Upon reaching the final hole, the score is tied. Judge Smails scores a birdie. Danny has to complete a difficult putt to achieve an overall tie. Czervik again doubles the wager based on Danny making the putt. Danny's putt leaves the ball hanging over the edge of the hole. At that moment, in his latest attempt to kill the gopher, Carl detonates plastic explosives that he has rigged around the golf course. The explosion shakes the ground and causes the ball to drop into the hole, handing Danny, Webb and Czervik victory on the wager. Smails refuses to pay, so Czervik beckons two hulking men to "help the judge find his checkbook." As Smails is chased across the course, Czervik leads a wild party at the clubhouse, attended by all of the onlookers at the match. Some distance away, the gopher emerges from underground, unharmed, and dances to the movie's theme song, "I'm Alright," amid the smoldering ruins of the golf course.
- Chevy Chase as Ty Webb
- Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik
- Ted Knight as Judge Elihu Smails
- Michael O'Keefe as Danny Noonan
- Bill Murray as Carl Spackler
- Sarah Holcomb as Maggie O'Hooligan
- Scott Colomby as Tony D'Annunzio
- Cindy Morgan as Lacey Underall
- Dan Resin as Dr. Beeper
- Henry Wilcoxon as Bishop Fred Pickering
- Albert Salmi as Mr. Noonan
- Elaine Aiken as Mrs. Noonan
- John F. Barmon Jr. as Spaulding Smails
- Lois Kibbee as Mrs. Smails
- Brian Doyle-Murray as Lou Loomis
- Jackie Davis as Smoke Porterhouse
- Hamilton Mitchell as Motormouth
The film was inspired by writer and co-star Brian Doyle-Murray's memories working as a caddie at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka, Illinois. His brothers Bill and John Murray (production assistant and a caddy extra) and director Harold Ramis also had worked as caddies when they were teenagers. Many of the characters in the film were based on characters they had encountered through their various experiences at the club, including a young woman upon whom the character of Maggie is based and the Haverkamps, a doddering old couple, John and Ilma, longtime members of the club, who can barely hit the ball out of their shadows. The scene involving a Baby Ruth candy bar being thrown into the swimming pool was based on a real-life incident at Doyle-Murray's high school. The scene in which Al Czervik hits Judge Smails in the genitals with a struck golf ball happened to Ramis on what he said was the second of his two rounds of golf, on a nine-hole public course.
The film was shot over eleven weeks during the autumn of 1979; Hurricane David in early September delayed production. Golf scenes were filmed at the Rolling Hills Golf Club (now the Grande Oaks Golf Club) in Davie, Florida. According to Ramis, Rolling Hills was chosen because the course did not have any palm trees. He wanted the film to feel that it was in the Midwest, not Florida. The explosions that take place during the climax of the film were reported at the nearby Fort Lauderdale airport by an incoming pilot, who suspected that a plane had crashed.
The scene that begins when Ty Webb's golf ball crashes into Carl Spackler's shack was not in the original script. It was added by director Harold Ramis after realizing that two of his biggest stars, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray (who previously did not get along due to a feud dating back to their days on Saturday Night Live, but were at least tolerant and professional towards each other while on set), until then, did not appear in a scene together. The three met for lunch and wrote the scene. This is the only film that Chase and Murray have appeared in together.
Murray improvised much of a "Cinderella story" scene based on two lines of stage direction. Ramis gave him direction to act as a child. Murray hit flowers with a hoe while fantasizing aloud about winning a major golf tournament. Murray was with the production only six days, and all of his lines were unscripted. Murray was working on Saturday Night Live at the time, and was not intended to have a large role in the movie. However, he was repeatedly recalled from New York to film additional scenes as production continued.
Cindy Morgan said that a massage scene with Chevy Chase was improvised, and her reaction to Chase dousing her back with the massage oil, where she exclaimed "You're crazy!" was genuine. A scene in which her character dived into the pool was acted by a professional diver. Before the diver took over, she was led to the diving board by the crew and carefully directed up the ladder since she could not wear her contact lenses near the pool and was legally blind without them.
A deal was made with John Dykstra's effects company for visual effects, including lightning, stormy sky effects, flying golf balls and disappearing greens' flags. The gopher was part of the effects package. Dykstra's technicians added hydraulic animation to the puppet, including ear movement, and built the tunnels through which it moved.
The film was met with underwhelming reviews upon its original 1980 release, with criticism towards the disorganized plot, though Dangerfield and Murray's comic performances were well-received. Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four and wrote, "Caddyshack feels more like a movie that was written rather loosely, so that when shooting began there was freedom—too much freedom—for it to wander off in all directions in search of comic inspiration." Gene Siskel gave the film three out of four stars, saying it was "funny about half of the time it tries to be, which is a pretty good average for a comedy." Dave Kehr, in his review for the Chicago Reader, wrote, "The first-time director, Harold Ramis, can't hold it together: the picture lurches from style to style (including some ill-placed whimsy with a gopher puppet) and collapses somewhere between sitcom and sketch farce." Vincent Canby gave it a mixed review in The New York Times, describing it as "A pleasantly loose-limbed sort of movie with some comic moments, most of them belonging to Mr. Dangerfield."
Nevertheless, the film has gained a cult following in the years after its release and has been positively reappraised by many film critics. The film holds a 74% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 54 (mostly contemporary) reviews, with an average rating of 6.69/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Though unabashedly crude and juvenile, Caddyshack nevertheless scores with its classic slapstick, unforgettable characters, and endlessly quotable dialogue." Christopher Null gave the film four stars out of five in his 2005 review, and wrote, "They don't make 'em like this anymore … The plot wanders around the golf course and involves a half-dozen elements, but if you simply dig the gopher, the caddy, and the Dangerfield, you're not going to be doing half bad."
Ramis noted in the DVD documentary that TV Guide had originally given the film two stars (out of four) when it began showing on cable television in the early 1980s, but over time the rating had gone up to three stars. He himself said he could "barely watch it. All I see are a bunch of compromises and things that could have been better," such as the poor swings of everyone, except for O'Keefe.
In 2007, Taylor Trade Publishing released The Book of Caddyshack, an illustrated paperback retrospective of the movie, with cast and crew Q&A interviews. The book was written by Scott Martin.
In April 2018, Flatiron Books published Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story by Chris Nashawaty, detailing the making of the film.
Denmark was the only place outside the United States where Caddyshack was initially a hit. The distributor had cut 20 minutes to emphasize Bill Murray's role.
Awards and honors
This film is also second on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies."
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
- 2000: AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs – #71
- 2005: AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
- 2008: AFI's 10 Top 10:
In anticipation of the movie, the Kenny Loggins single "I'm Alright" was released nearly three weeks before the movie opened and became a top ten hit the last week of September 1980. CBS Records also issued a soundtrack to Caddyshack later that year. It included ten songs, four of which were performed by Kenny Loggins, including the aforementioned "I'm Alright."
There was a sequel, Caddyshack II (1988), which did poorly at the box office and is considered one of the worst sequels of all time.
On June 7, 2001, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and their brothers opened a themed restaurant inspired by the film at the World Golf Village, near St. Augustine, Florida. The restaurant is meant to resemble the fictional Bushwood Country Club, and serves primarily American cuisine. The brothers are all active partners and make occasional appearances at the restaurant. Three more Caddyshack restaurants were opened, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Orlando; and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; all are now closed.
- 1980 Yearly Box Office Results. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- "''Caddyshack: Reel Life'' from "ESPN.com Page 2"". Espn.go.com. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- Caddyshack: The Inside Story Archived June 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Bio.HD December 13, 2009.
- On Location: Caddyshack filming locations.
- Grande Oaks Golf Club.
- Mark Canton, Chevy Chase, Scott Colomby, Hamilton Mitchell, Cindy Morgan, Jon Peters, Harold Ramis, Ann Ryerson (1999). Caddyshack: The 19th Hole, Special Feature (DVD). Warner Bros.
- Chris Nashawaty (August 2, 2010). "Caddyshack". Sports Illustrated.
- Caddyshack on IMDb
- Hinson, Mark (August 7, 2009). "'Caddyshack' siren joins the fun for film school's 20th". Tallahassee Democrat. p. 14D. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Sorokach, Josh (April 18, 2018). "'Caddyshack' Was Fueled By Rampant Cocaine Use, New Book Reveals". Decider. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
- "Caddyshack (1980)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (January 1, 1980). "Caddyshack". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
- Siskel, Gene (July 1980). "Caddyshack". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
- Kehr, Dave. "Caddyshack". Chicago Reader. Retrieved July 13, 2009.
- Canby, Vincent (July 1980). "Caddyshack". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
- Tom Hoffarth (February 20, 2007). "'Caddyshack' former hottie in revival mode". Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- "Caddyshack (1980)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- at Filmcritic.com's
- "Tiger Woods Talks...To His Twitter Followers". Radar Online. November 30, 2010. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- Ben Craw and Dan Abramson (May 30, 2010). "All The Best 'Caddyshack' Quotes In One Video: Pick Your Favorite!". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Martin, Brett (July 2009). "Harold Ramis Gets the Last Laugh". GQ: 64–67, 124–25. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
Like, it bothers me that nobody except Michael O'Keefe can swing a golf club. A movie about golf with the worst bunch of golf swings you've ever seen! It doesn't bother golfers, though.
- Ryan, Patrick (April 24, 2018). "'Caddyshack': 5 wild things we learn about the Bill Murray comedy in new tell-all book". USA Today. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- Iben Albinus Sabroe (2008). Jeg vil vinde en Oscar (I Want to Win an Oscar).
- "Bravo's 100 funniest movies list". Listsofbests.com. June 2, 2006. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- "AFI's 10 Top 10: Top 10 Sports". American Film Institute. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
- "Billboard's Hot 100 for the week of 27 Sep 1980".. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
- "Murray Bros. Caddyshack home page". Murraybroscaddyshack. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2012.
- Kindelsperger, Nick (April 17, 2018). "Bill Murray visits his Caddyshack restaurant in Chicago and doesn't disappoint". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Caddyshack|
- Caddyshack on IMDb
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- Caddyshack at the TCM Movie Database
- Caddyshack at Box Office Mojo
- Caddyshack at Rotten Tomatoes
- Caddyshack, an homage to Doug Kenney, ESPN/Golf Digest, April 2004
- "Caddyshack Culture" – Meta-critique from the erstwhile Suck.com.
- Sports Illustrated retrospective article
- 2009 documentary Caddyshack: The Inside Story